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Michael Giles - Progress CD (album) cover


Michael Giles


Canterbury Scene

3.74 | 34 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars In an interview done with Michael Giles at the time of the release of King Crimson`s "Epitaph" live album, done in 1997, Giles was asked about why this album, which was recorded in 1978, was still unreleased. He said that he was not satisfied with the album, and that he even looked for a record contract with a label but he didn`t get it then. He liked the songs but he thought that he still had to re-work some of them. Five years later, in 2002, this album was finally released, but I don`t know if he re-worked some of the songs. In fact, I think that the album was released as it was originally recorded, but I really don`t know.

With a list of tracks with titles which maybe suggest a "concept" on which a man goes on travel from the sunrise until he arrives to another place at night (I could be wrong, but even the cover design shows Giles waiting for a train with his packed drum kit), this is a very good album which fortunately was finally released in 2002. Even the main melody from the first proper song ("Departure") is reprised in the final song from the album ("Arrival") which also suggests a "concept", a cycle or a theme in this album. This album is very Progressive in some places (particularly in the title song "Progress", which is maybe the best from this album) and sometimes with a lot of influences from Jazz-Rock music. This album is more related to the "McDonald and Giles" album from 1970, sometimes sounding very close to that album, not only because of Giles`s very good drums playing, but also with the use of the saxophones and other wind instruments. There are also some influences from the original King Crimson, of course, but most of all this album shows how important was Giles in the original line-up of that band, not only for being the drummer, but also as part of the original sound of the band. In that interview he says that in King Crimson he mostly was an arranger and a composer of some parts of songs, suggesting some rhythm changes, and he also was one of the backing singers in that band. But, as I wrote before, this album is more related to his work in the "McDonald and Giles" album with Ian McDonald, another very important musican from the original line-up of the band, showing how influential were both musicians in that band. Greg Lake also said in one interview that when both left the band he did not want to continue with King Crimson because he considered that both musicians were very important for that band (this despite Lake and Giles appeared in the second album of the band more as guests or sessions musicians in a band which became mainly Robert Fripp`s band after that).

Giles in this album appears as a multi-instrumentalist, playing keyboards, a bit of guitar, and also singing very good vocals. And his drums and percussion playing is very good, of course. He even plays a drums and percussion solo in "Nightdream".

A very good contributor to this album is bassist Peter Giles, playing very good bass guitar parts with his very personal style and doing very good parts playing along with the drums. Both Giles brothers are very good musicians, but both remained in their musical careers playing and recording more as session musicians, with Michael appearing in a lot of albums from other musicians particularly during the seventies.

This is a very good solo album from Michael Giles which also shows that he also is a very good composer. The songs are played and linked one after the other with good continuity, and even some of them are "introduced" by the sound of cymbals and other percussion instruments. These "sound effects" work very well giving a very personal "identity" to the album.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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